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Virgin Atlantic sees strong U.S. cargo gains

By Staff Reports on February 10, 2014

Traffic from the U.S. to India, business gains in the U.S. Northeast and more perishables traffic all contributed to transatlantic tonnage, revenue and market share gains for Virgin Atlantic Cargo in 2013.

The airline’s ability to offer fast connections over London to both Delhi and Mumbai attracted strong customer support during the year. Cargo volumes from Miami to Delhi were up 50 percent year over year, while U.S.-origin cargo via London to Mumbai recorded particularly strong gains from both Atlanta and Miami.

“The transatlantic market remains highly competitive, but for us 2013 was a good year with gains across our U.S destinations. Our total tonnage and revenue from the UK to the U.S. was 10 percent up year-on-year. Perishables traffic contributed strongly to the U.S. Canada and Mexico, notably fish shipments to Vancouver and San Francisco,” Dan Parker, vice president commercial at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said. “We were also successful in gaining more business in Europe for our North American services with Milan and Paris, now in our top 15 origin stations for freight going to the U.S. Looking ahead to the prospects for 2014, we expect the market to remain steady and do not expect any big increases or decreases in shipment levels.”

Newark continued to be one of the airline’s strongest U.S routes, with revenue and tonnage ex-London up 25 percent and eastbound volumes growing by 60 percent compared to 2012.

Cargo traffic from New York JFK to London Heathrow climbed 20 percent over the course of the year, and freight shipments from Boston to the UK grew 17 percent. Revenue between London and San Francisco rose 15 percent.

From the UK to the U.S., excluding Canada, the airline carried more than 63 million kilos in 2013.

Virgin Atlantic has been particularly successful is growing its share of the air cargo market in the U.S Northeast. In addition to its strong performance to and from New York and Boston, the airline also achieved an 11 percent increase in tonnage from Washington, D.C., as overall tonnage from the U.S. Northeast to the UK finished the year 13 percent higher.

“We are meeting regularly with our colleagues at Delta to explore new opportunities as a result of our trans-Atlantic alliance,” Parker said. “Both airlines have successful and innovative cargo businesses, and we share a commitment to delivering the highest levels of customer service. We are confident we will both be able to offer exciting new services and opportunities that will benefit our customers on both sides of the Atlantic.”